By Ken Rogers, Dothan Eagle:
About an hour after Alabama distributed the rosters for Saturday’s A-Day Game, running backs Kenyan Drake and Altee Tenpenny weren’t spotted during the media viewing period at Thursday’s practice. Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, who rarely calls out specific players in public, didn’t hold back when asked if he had an update on those backs. “There is no update. They didn’t do what they were supposed to do in school this week so I sent them to the study table for four hours and they didn’t come to practice,” Saban said. “If they don’t stay over there for four hours, they probably won’t play in the spring game. There’s no update, just the fact. I’d rather do it now than during the season.”
By Christopher Walsh, Bleacher Report:
One can’t have a discussion about University of Alabama sophomore tight end O.J. Howard without mentioning the play. It was against rival LSU last season, and host Alabama was down 7-3 in the second quarter. The then-freshman was the lone player to line up wide right, with three wide receivers all on the left side. After catching the slant pass in stride he kept going, outracing all of the defensive backs to the end zone for a momentum-changing 52-yard touchdown. “Everybody always refers back to that one, because I got to show off my speed a little bit,” Howard said.
‘It’s full-speed football, baby’: Denzel Devall says ‘we’re fighting for something’ at A-Day (Video)
By Andrew Gribble, al.com:
A perplexed look came over Denzel Devall’s face as he listened to the final question of his Thursday media session. Do Alabama’s players really take the end-of-spring scrimmage as seriously as an actual game? Devall didn’t hesitate. “It’s full-speed football, baby,” he said. That’s the goal, Alabama coach Nick Saban said after Thursday’s practice. He made no bones about it that A-Day will be the first-team offense (Crimson) versus the first-team defense (White). Saban said he looks at A-Day as if it’s an “exhibition game.” “That makes the game, the good players, the best players at least for now, are playing against the best players and the backup players are playing against the backup players so that it makes a very, very competitive game,” he said. “That’s how we want it to be.”
By Charlie Potter, The Crimson White:
There is an Alabama football game in town this weekend, which has undeniably brought with it the recent chilly temperatures and blustery feeling of football season. With the Crimson Tide set to take the field inside Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon for the annual spring game, several questions are left unanswered surrounding the team, what fans can expect this weekend and the course of the offseason. Here, we try to break down the biggest questions for Alabama this spring: Who will shine as quarterback? Senior signal caller Blake Sims has been in the spotlight all spring as the current front-runner to replace AJ McCarron as Alabama’s starting quarterback. Alabama coach Nick Saban said Sims has “shown a lot of command” this spring, and his teammates have done nothing but praised his efforts during practice and the team’s two scrimmages.
By Cliff Kirkpatrick, Montgomery Advertiser:
Alabama football coach Nick Saban isn’t holding back when it comes to the A-Day game. He separated the team into two sides with the first-team offense and second-team defense going against the first-team defense and second offense. Saban looks at today’s game at 1 p.m. in Bryant-Denny Stadium as an exhibition where the players compete in a game-like situation before a large crowd to get prepared for the season. “It’s really your first opportunity as an individual, as a unit or as a team, to really create an identity for who you are and how you play, how you compete,” Saban said.
By David Paschall, timesfreepress.com:
Alabama has its preliminary winner in the quarterback competition entering Saturday’s A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Whether fifth-year senior Blake Sims still holds the job when the Crimson Tide open against West Virginia at the Chick-fil-A Classic has yet to be determined. The 6-foot, 208-pounder began spring practice with the most seniority among Alabama’s quarterback hopefuls, and he has not disappointed. “We’re pleased with Blake,” coach Nick Saban said in a news conference Saturday after the Tide conducted their second scrimmage. “All the other guys have their good days and bad days. They all need to work on their consistency.” Alabama held its 13th spring practice Tuesday and will work out again Thursday before culminating with A-Day.
By Chase Goodbread, nfl.com:
Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper has earned rave reviews from Nick Saban during spring practice. Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn’t tend to go overboard with individual praise, but his remarks about junior-to-be wide receiver Amari Cooper were about as strong as it gets for the Crimson Tide’s been-there, seen-it-all coach. In short, he said double coverage is about the only way to stop the Crimson Tide star.
By Andrew Gribble, al.com:
Last week, thousands of high school coaches flocked to Alabama to hear from Nick Saban, Baylor’s Art Briles and coaching legends Joe Gibbs and Gene Stallings — among others — at the Crimson Tide’s annual coaching clinic. Just a week earlier, one of the game’s biggest names and one of the rising stars in coaching snuck in and out with little fanfare. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and offensive coordinator Adam Gase made a recent visit to Alabama, coach Nick Saban said after Thursday’s practice. Manning and Gase were “making some visits,” Saban said, and Alabama just happened to be on their agenda.
By Tyler Donohue, Bleacher Report:
Montrell Custis committed to Kentucky before the conclusion of his junior season, but offers have continued to come for the Georgia defensive back. Alabama, who joined the pursuit in late February, swiped him away from the Wildcats on Monday. “I really want to give a special thanks to the whole UK coaching staff for giving me an opportunity 2 go 2 a great university like Kentucky. But at the end of the day me and my family thought Alabama was a better fit for me. So I decommited from UK and now I’m commit Alabama!”